By Madeline R. Vann, MPH
Medically Reviewed by Samuel Mackenzie, MD, PhD
Selim Aksan/Getty Images
People often complain of feeling confined or claustrophobic during MRIs.People often complain of feeling confined or claustrophobic during MRIs.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are commonly performed to establish a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and to monitor its progression over time.
MRIs use strong magnets and radio waves to create images of internal structures of the body. An MRI scan of your brain and spinal cord can reveal the lesions, or areas where the myelin that normally protects nerve fibers has been damaged, that are typical of MS.
Over time, repeat MRIs show your doctor whether you have developed additional lesions and whether existing lesions have enlarged or otherwise changed.
Most healthcare professionals recommend that people with MS receive annual MRIs to track progression and assist in treatment decisions. Evidence of new or growing lesions, for example, may indicate that a change in treatment is needed.
Before You Get an MRI: Safety Issues